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Heatwave advice from the Ambulance Service

19 July 2016

With a heatwave forecasted for the next few days, the region’s ambulance service is urging members of the public to take extra care in the heat.

A rise in temperature usually brings a rise in calls for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) for ailments brought on by the warmer weather such as breathing difficulties, fainting and unconsciousness.

Dr David Macklin, Executive Director of Operations at the Trust and an A&E Doctor, said:
“As the temperatures soar over the next few days, we want to make sure the people of Yorkshire enjoy the heatwave safely. I would like to ask members of the public to be mindful of the following advice:

  • Remember, some people are more at risk from the heat than others - for example, older people, babies and young children, and people with any pre-existing medical problems that can affect their breathing.
  • Try to keep as cool as possible - wear a hat when sitting or working outside and use plenty of sun cream. 
  • If possible, avoid going out in the hottest part of the day (between 11am - 3pm) and if you have to go out, try to stay in the shade. 
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid drinking alcohol in the sun. 
  • Contact your doctor, pharmacist or NHS 111 if you are worried about your health. In an emergency, dial 999 for ambulance assistance.

David said: “We know that this advice is common sense but, by reminding everyone, we hope it will help reduce the number of people who suffer any ill-effects from the hot weather. 

“We will always respond to anyone needing time-critical medical assistance, but we ask that people think carefully before dialling 999 and only call for an ambulance in an emergency when it is obvious that you or another person has a serious or life-threatening illness or injury. People suffering from minor illnesses and injuries should consider more appropriate services for their needs such as visiting their local pharmacist or GP, attending a walk-in-centre or minor injuries unit or calling NHS 111.”

The Trust would also like to urge people to take extra care in and around open water during the warm weather. Traditionally when the temperature rises the service is called to incidents where people have required emergency medical attention after swimming in rivers, reservoirs and other waterways.

David continued: “As always, our message regarding open water is ‘Stay Out and Stay Safe’. It may be very appealing to jump into the water to cool off on a warm summer’s day but people need to be aware of how dangerous it really is. Water can look calm on the surface but contain unseen debris and, rivers in particular, can have treacherous undercurrents. In addition, the temperature of deep water is much colder than people would expect it to be and, even on a hot summer’s day, rarely gets above freezing.

“Every year lives are tragically lost across the UK and we don’t want to see anyone hurt or injured so the message is simple; enjoy the summer, stay out of open water and stay safe!”

For further advice on looking after your health during the hot weather, please visit the following website:

Notes to Editor:

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust covers almost 6,000 square miles of varied terrain from isolated moors and dales to urban areas, coastline and inner cities and provides 24-hour emergency and healthcare services to a population of more than five million people. The organisation receives an average of 2,330 emergency and urgent calls per day and employs over 5,000 staff.

The Patient Transport Service made over one million journeys in 2015-16 transporting patients to and from hospital and treatment centre appointments.

The Trust’s NHS 111 service helped 1.5 million patients across Yorkshire and the Humber, Bassetlaw, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire during 2015-16.

Issued by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Press Office

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department